5 Unique Things to Hang On Your Walls That Give Your Home Instant Personality and Artistic Charm

Wall decor doesn’t have to belong in a frame. Design experts share their favorite objects to give your walls a unique lift

A thick woven rug hung on the wall above a bed
(Image credit: Arhaus)

Artwork can bring character and depth to a space, allowing us to express our aesthetic tastes and our souls. But there are many more creative possibilities when it comes to wall decor. 

‘While framed art can pull a space together, it's not the only option when filling the walls of your home,’ says Maggie Gienger, Director of Interior Design at Arhaus. 

Hanging objects in your space is an opportunity to play with different textures, stories and moods without having to overhaul your existing scheme. It gives you the opporotunity to showcvase your personality, make your space feel unique, go outside of interior design trends to curate a home that looks like you.

5 Unique Things to Hang On Your Walls 

From playful sports equipment, to textiles, to precious antiques, here are five designer-led wall decor ideas you may not have considered. 

1. Basketball hoops

Two basketball hoops in black and white hung in a pink and white living room

(Image credit: MONIOMI Design)

Let's start with a very left field idea, but bear with us. Basketball hoops. Yes, really. Seen in this dreamlike decor, basketball hoops aren’t just for outdoors and can add charm and interest to your living space. In this room by MONIOMI Design, the addition of the hoops adds a disarming and playful element. Like a twist on the classic dream catcher. Look, we're not expecting every home to copy this look, but beginning here shows just how daring you can be if you desire.

'We find that art that welcomes interaction reaches deeper levels of appreciation,' says Ronald Alvarez, Designer and Founder at MONIOMI Design. 'Our lux mini hoops can be the centerpiece of an art installation, being admired for their intricacy in materiality and pattern play, and immediately become more approachable the second you take your first shot at the basket.'

Importantly, the hoops feel deliberate and fit with the space’s wider scheme. Layering the hoops one above the other, and framing them with the paintwork, helps them to feel decorative rather than just functional. Adding a basketball hoop to your living room is a bold look and requires going all in—as well as investing in some softer balls to shoot with.   

2. Unique wall sconces 

A glass wall sconce hanging next. to painting

(Image credit: Arhaus)

Wall sconces might be practical lighting solutions, but they can also be art objects in themselves. The right design will add interest and personality to a space even when the lights are switched off. 

‘Wall sconces add a more unique feel, casting a warm glow to create an inviting space,’ says Arhaus‘ Gienger. ‘Much like traditional wall art, there are sconce options that align with any style aesthetic from modern to minimal to eclectic. Plus, sconces are a practical option for illuminating a room and take up less physical space than a table or floor lamp without the harshness of an overhead light.’ 

3. A hand-knotted rug  

A thick woven rug hung on the wall above a bed

(Image credit: Arhaus)

Filling a wall with a textural object can bring an immediate sense of warmth and luxury to your space. Using one of the best rugs in this way is like hanging a large painting, but with added coziness. 

As Gienger puts it: ‘For an unexpected approach, I love the look of a hanging rug—the woven texture can add a beautiful dimension to a space and it's a great option if you have a large, blank wall to fill. Arhaus' artisan crafted, hand-knotted rugs, are so ornately beautiful, they rival any piece of fine art!’

3. Woven trays 

A bedroom with woven trays/baskets hanging on the wall above the bed

(Image credit: Sara Tramp for Christine Vroom Interiors)

If you don’t have enough room to hang a rug, but love the idea of adding texture to your wall space, try hanging a collection of woven trays. Like larger textiles, these can add warmth and depth to a room, but without overwhelming the space. 

‘If you like a more peachy vibe or are going for texture, finding some inexpensive woven trays or chargers can be a fun and easy way of bringing in a textural wall hanging,’ says Christine Vroom of Christine Vroom Interiors. 

She adds: ‘Another funky idea for wall art, but in a kitchen/dining space, is hanging your pots. Not only is this functional, but it can be an out of the box idea for three-dimensional art.’

5. Vintage plates

A kitchen with aubergine walls decorated with vintage plates

(Image credit: deVol)

For a look that works particularly well in a dining room or kitchen, try hanging a collection of vintage - and vintage-looking - patterned plates. In this design by deVOL, the deep aubergine color, drenched across the walls, fireplace, trim and ceiling, gives the space a modern edge that creates a fun contrast with the vintage furniture and accessories. 

The plates themselves are arranged in a loose, playful style that further prevents the decor from feeling old-fashioned. Grouped together, they help to break up the wall color and bring a charm and romance to this characterful kitchen. 

Kate Hollowood is a freelance journalist who writes about a range of topics for Marie Claire UK, from current affairs to features on health, careers and relationships. She is a regular contributor to Livingetc, specializing in reporting on American designers and global interiors trends. Based in London, Kate has also written for titles like the i paper, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan and It’s Nice That.